Alzheimer’s Care in Oakbrook Terrace, IL – Try this Simple Idea for Bringing a Smile and Fond Memories to Your Elderly Loved One
Have you ever had a chance to look at your whole life, and be grateful for what it has blessed you with? Now, you have a chance at doing this for others, even while it works you into becoming grateful for your life.
Elders suffering from dementia suffer a crippling loss of identity. As their memories desert them, they struggle to comprehend what they mean to themselves, what they mean to others, and what it means to live a fulfilled life. By helping an elderly loved one create a memory box, you will help them reconnect with life, and fulfill their need to feel loved.
Here is how you go about it.
- Prepare a pretty memory box: Pick a box that is easy to open – no fancy jewel boxes needing a secret pin to open. Decorate this nicely, perhaps with your elderly loved one’s favourite colour or fabric. Write or glue the senior’s name on the box in bold, in color. In short, put some effort to make this nice to look at so your loved one feels tempted to open it often. The contents of the box will do the rest of magic.
- Carefully choose the keepsakes: Old photographs, key chains, flowers, old letters or mailings, an odd button that stirs up an inspiring memory; you may need to spend “recall” sessions with the senior or his relatives to identify precious items that will trigger his memory and make him feel loved. If it helps, you can also stick a post-it to the item to help with memory recollection. Make note to avoid items which are sharp or unsafe to the senior in his least lucid moments.
- Include notes with positive affirmations into the box: Going through the memory box will leave the senior open to a spectrum of experiences – joy, wonder, confusion, resentment, etc. Always ensure to end the musings with an attitude of gratitude. Leaving positive affirmations and training the senior and caregiver to contemplate on these just before closing the box ensures the purpose of the box is served.
- Schedule memory box time: Work with care-givers so the senior gets to look at it often. You can spend time with him yourself, as you help him to be grateful for what he can remember, even if he needs a keepsake to remind him, rather than to wallow in anger or self-resentment on his rising memory loss.
The memory box does its magic by becoming a safe haven of memories for your loved one. The older memories take longer to fade, so seeing items from his distant past will seem familiar to him and bring him peace and comfort despite the confusion of the disease. Your loved one’s caregivers can use this box as part of their memory loss care.
For Alzheimer’s care in Oakbrook Terrace, IL call 708-761-4909. Serving La Grange, Oakbrook, Oakbrook Terrace, Brookfield, Westchester, Downers Grove, Berwyn, River Forest, Oak Park, Hinsdale, Chicago and surrounding communities.